When applying for a job, the employer may ask you to send an application, a cover letter, curriculum vitae (CV) or both. Either way, this is your chance to show recruiters that you deserve to be shortlisted for an interview, and so your application must prove to the employer that you are perfectly suited to fill the vacancy.
Do not just start writing the application or cv straight away when you find a job you want to apply for. You must take some time to prepare yourself first and then start. Gather all relevant information, such as academic achievements, employment history and contact details of your referees. Research the company of the job vacancy to gain an understanding of what they do and contrast with their main competitors. Also study and understand the job description so that you can refer back to the specific skills and qualities that the employer is looking for when writing your application. You must also know the closing date for receiving applications.
What to include in your application
Your application should give the employer an insight of the kind of person you are and make them want to meet you to find out more, so you must present evidence of how you have developed relevant skills and gained valuable experience through your academic work, employment and personal life.
The most relevant information to include in your application is:
- Personal information – give basic details such as your full names and address.
- Educational background – provide information on your academic achievements, including the institutions you have attended, courses you had taken and qualifications you have gained.
- Work experience – outline your employment history and describe your main duties and responsibilities in each role (emphasize information that is most closely related to the job you are applying for).
- Personal statement – write a well-structured and well-argued case for why you are the right person for the job (referring to the person specification set out in the advert).
Once you have prepared yourself this way, you can then start to write your application and submit it when you are done using the application method stated by the employer.